Guy Reverse-Engineers Atari's Classic 'Pole Position' With 3-D Lowpoly Graphics

July 26, 2019


This is a video demonstration of PPEngine (links to downloads), a reverse-engineered version of Atari's classic Pole Position arcade game (with the original game logic), but upgraded with sick 3-D lowpoly graphics. Some more info from the man behind the project, Jonathan Thomas. The man behind the curtain? That's just a sleeping security guard.

I started back in 2013 reverse engineering the code from the original arcade ROM with the help of the MAME debugger and some primitive self-made tools to analyse instruction traces and create assembly source files that could be assembled back to the original arcade ROM.

Following this, I worked through the assembly source file to produce a portable C-based library containing the game logic for Pole Position. This library was used in two projects - the one you see here, and another project to convert Pole Position to the Atari ST - a 16-bit computer that was released in 1985.

Man, my brother used to kill at the Atari home console version of Pole Position. Me? I've always sucked at racing games. I'm not even good at any of the Mario Karts -- how embarrassing is that? "Very." Thanks for making me feel better. "You know you suck at real driving too." Whatever, I drive the same way I live my life. "Poorly." Hey you don't happen to drive an SUV with a winch, do you?

Keep going for the video, as well as one of the original game for reference.

Thanks to Closet Nerd, who agrees it's time to fill our pockets full of quarters and hit the arcade at the mall.

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